Charles "Chuck" Herbert Ramthun, 82, of Byron, passed away Sunday, January 20, 2013, at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester due to respiratory failure after suffering from Parkinson's and Lewy bodies disease for 9 years. He had resided at Fairview Care Center in Dodge Center the last 2 years. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
Charles was born August 14, 1930, the youngest of 13 children, to Albert and Verna (Postier) Ramthun in Byron, MN. He graduated from Byron High School in 1948. On June 18, 1949, he married Carol Clark. They lived together in Rochester for five years before moving to Byron and building their first home in 1954. Charles worked for three of his building contractor brothers before starting his own home building and development business in Byron.
In high school, he was very active in sports, excelling in football and basketball. This love of high school sports continued as he and his wife became faithful followers of the athletic events at Byron High School, with a special love for track and field. He was the volunteer #1 picker at the track meet finishing line and headed up the chain gang on the football field for over 40 years, donated his services in building the press box (crow's nest) on the Byron football field and gave 2 BHS sports scholarships for 34 years. His volunteerism and generosity lead to his receiving the Distinguished Service Award at the Minnesota Athletic Directors Association state meeting in 1993. In 2001, he received the Byron High School Distinguished Service Award for his 40 years of service and in 2009, he was inducted into the inaugural Byron Sports Hall of Fame for his volunteerism and service to Byron High School sports.
His love of snowmobiling and his generosity also lead him into being a founding and lifetime member of the Byron Snowbears Snowmobile Club and organizing the annual snowmobile fundraiser for the March of Dimes. Charles will be remembered for his love of flying and accomplished his dream of getting his pilot's license and owning his own 4-passenger Cessna plane. He was a member of EAA for 30 years. He and his wife loved their fishing trips to Manitoba with their boat and motor home. Charles also loved hunting, dancing, joking, and spending time with family, especially his grandchildren and great grandsons. He was a member of the Byron United Methodist Church.
Charles is survived by his loving wife, Carol Ramthun, of Byron; and their three daughters, Debra (Dave) Ramsey, of Minneapolis, Michelle (Glenn) Seibel, of Bemidji, and Teresa (Jeff) Greene, of Byron. He is also survived by three grandchildren: Paul (Tara) Greene, Brianna (Drew) Cooper, and Tiffany Seibel, and two great-grandchildren: Ethan and Logan Greene.
He is preceded in death by his parents, seven sisters, and five brothers.
Visitation will be from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday evening and 1 hour before the service at the Byron United Methodist Church. A funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday at the church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Charles Ramthun Byron athletic fund.